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EDITORIAL: Sports tells Fiji story to the world, helps in nation building

EDITORIAL: Sports tells Fiji story to the world, helps in nation building
December 31
13:32 2017

As we bid 2017 farewell tonight, we can confidently report that we have had another successful and tremendous sporting year.

Apart from being a universal unifier and one of the greatest sources of unity and inspiration for our people, its overall contribution to nation building is significant and immense.

The spinoffs and flow-on effect from sports tourism continues to help in driving and growing our economy.

Our athletes continue to exemplify the best of what our nation has to offer as they tell Fiji story to the world and changing and shaping how the world sees our small island nation.

Our athletes are a crucial part of our link to the world, enhancing our national reputation and helping put Fiji on the map for the many people who may not know what we have to offer.

We continue to amaze the world outperforming the larger powers with our success not only as performers but as hosts of international tournaments creating a brand as an ideal sporting destination.

And for this, credit must go to the Government for investing and capitalising on our strong sporting reputation to attract more international competitions.

The Government showed it commitment with the $6.7million increase in the $23.1m allocation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports during its 2017-18 Budget announcement in July.

This enables our Vodafone Fijian Bati to reach the semifinal of the Rugby League World Cup beating New Zealand in the quarterfinal for the first time;

Fiji Airways Fijian Drua reaching the semifinal of the Australia National Rugby Championships in its maiden year;

Our athletes, particularly our weightlifters, continue to make a mark at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu;

Hosting the Super  Rugby match between the Chiefs and Crusaders at the ANZ Stadium;

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians qualifying for 2019 Rugby World Cup, beating Scotland in Suva, winning four consecutive internationals for the first time;

$12.5m allocated under the Ministry of Industry and Trade for the Fiji International golf tournament at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course in its fourth year;

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team third placing after the first cluster of 2017-18 World Sevens Series in Dubai-Cape Town.

So we can proudly say that we have had another positive year of sport in Fiji to report.

And with the Government’s support, we look forward to achieving and hosting more in the New Year.

2018 will be another big sporting year for our athletes.

We have another chance of punching above our weight, amaze the world once again and tells Fiji’s story as a proud sporting nation and destination.

We have a chance to win the 2017-18 World Sevens Series, Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco and make a good showing at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Our 7s rugby stars showed the way after the gold medal win at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

We can make the world take notice once again in 2018.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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